I’m On The Rooftop! – The Kensington Roof Gardens

As promised in a previous post about Boys From Brazil, here is information about the Kensington Roof Gardens. The tenancy was held by Virgin Limited Edition since (despite some erroneous information saying it was 1982) 1981.

I think Simple Minds must have been one of the first bands on the label to make use of the space, having promotional photos for Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call done there with Jill Furmanovsky. As well as shooting the video for Sweat In Bullet in the Spanish part of the gardens.

Along with that, Love Song was shot inside the Babylon nightclub. I have always wondered where the Love Song video was filmed and only as I was researching for the post on Boys From Brazil did I see information on the wonderful Dream Giver Redux about the Kensington Roof Gardens. As I said previously I was aware of a Branson/Virgin connection with the location of the SAF/SFC promo photos and the Sweat In Bullet video but thought it was Branson’s private garden or gardens at the Manor House. And I had no idea that the Love Song video was done at the same site as the promo photoshoot and the video for Sweat In Bullet. I had always just assumed it was some nightclub in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Photo from Clubbable.com

You can read about the Babylon nightclub by clicking the photo above.

Back to the gardens themselves. The gardens were designed in the 1930s so now it is entirely understandable to me why it feels to have this certain…air of sophistication around it. And the way the Minds boys are clothed and photographed for the promo photos ties right in with that aesthetic. They look so bloody glamorous! I love those photos, and Jim looks as hot AF. I mean, they look like they’ve swanned in off the set of The Great Gatsby or something. They look amazing!

I’ve added a couple of videos about the gardens sourced from a really insightful article about the gardens that you can look at by clicking on the photo of the Spanish part of the garden below. There are a couple of older Pathé News clips you can watch of the gardens in 1938 and 1949, just check along the right hand side when you click on the article. All their resource information is down that side in columns.

And for good measure, I added the videos for Love Song and Sweat In Bullet here in the post for you guys to enjoy and maybe see things in a slightly different perspective now.

It’s a shame it’s currently closed. But there seems to be plans afoot to have it open back up again. I think a new tenant has been found. Stay tuned!

Photo by Vikram Manoharan

3 thoughts on “I’m On The Rooftop! – The Kensington Roof Gardens

  1. Wonderful read as per usual Larelle.
    Always thought the Sweat In Bullet video was studio shot. Silly me!
    Fav moment in Love Song video – Mick doing his Monty Python bit and slapping the guy across his face with the fish. Priceless.
    All the best,
    A&T

    • Thanks, A&T! Mick with the fish slap is my fave bit of the Love Song video too. Lol
      I can’t imagine the storyboard for that video shoot: “So Jim, you act like an arse to the lady in the lift, change ya claiths in front of her (I wouldn’t say no to that, to be honest! Lol) and then just…give her ya stuff to take care of. You all enter the nightclub. Kenny, you boogie on out wit the dolls on the dancefloor, Charlie, you get into a punch up playing backgammon(!), Mick you slap some business man with his fish supper then get into a punch up with him, and Derek you drug the bloke of the girl you fancy so you can cop off with her, but then get into a punch up with his mate. Meanwhile, Jim…you do some DJing and then just, you know, sing the song to camera. Then we’ll use this invisible force field to lock all the patrons in, and then you guys are ready, just leave like magic. Okay? How’s that sound? 😂😂😂😂

      • Mad! That’s how it sounds. But it works.
        I’m sure Charlie & Mick are laughing during their staged fight scenes. I wonder how many takes they did for that?!
        Crazy days indeed. 🙃🤪😉

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